Archive for January, 2008

CFI London

On Friday I attended the official opening for the Center for Inquiry‘s new educational centre in London. The new CFI London has taken up residence in Conway Hall which has a long history of humanism having been established by the South Place Ethical Society. The CFI London is a welcome addition to its still very much active humanist community.

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A new voice

Another voice has come to join the discussion! It seems that humanists are also a community fond of wordplay. Do please take a look at That Humanist who has some pretty interesting things to say already. We just need a T’other Humanist… (Read that with a Yorkshire accent for best effect.)

Diversity

Lately, I have found myself drawn more and more to the idea of diversity and its importance in our lives. This realisation was triggered by my experiences when I became vegan a little over a year ago. As a vegan, and before that vegetarian, I found that I didn’t necessarily want to have to eat at restaurants which catered for vegetarians exclusively, I just wanted to be able to eat at restaurants that offered enough variety in their menu that I could choose dishes that were suitable for me. I don’t want to live in a world that is tailored to suit my needs and wants, I just want there to be enough variety and freedom that there is room for me in it.

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Guantanamo Bay

Six years ago today the first detainees were sent to the U.S. military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay. Of the 775 detainees that have been held there since January 11th 2002 not a single one has been put on trial. Today international protests asking for the closure of Guantanamo Bay and an end to illegal detention took place in London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Washington, Tokyo, Manila, Sydney and Stockholm. There are grave concerns about the human rights and welfare of those detained as well as fear that they may not be given fair trials.

For more information and/or suggestions as to what you can do, take a look at articles from Amnesty International UK, Human Rights Watch, The National Guantanamo Coalition and Wikipedia.

International Year of Languages

Today a friend, brought to my attention that 2008 is the UN proclaimed International Year of Languages. As a linguist, I couldn’t resist writing about this.

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Happy new year!

I was at a nice Hogmanay celebration with friends yesterday. At midnight, we poured onto the street to see the fireworks and yell happy new year to the other people milling around or leaning out of windows. It was slightly shocking that amongst our predominantly scottish group, it was those of us from England and Wales who were remotely close to knowing even the first verse of Auld Lang Syne. I’m posting the first verse and the chorus below and the entire lyrics can be found here.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ auld lang syne

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

It’s also nice to note that New Year’s is a great example of a national secular celebration enjoyed by all.

Have a great 2008!